House Dem budget boosts defense spending

House Democrats released a $3.7 trillion alternative budget on Monday that would end budgetary ceilings known as sequestration and increase defense spending by $38 billion.

House Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen (Md.) said that his party’s budget, which doesn’t balance over its 10-year span, would provide $1.091 trillion in non-discretionary spending, including $561 billion for defense.

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Under a 2011 budget deal, the ceiling on defense spending is set at $523 billion.

The House Republican budget keeps that ceiling but funds a separate account to provide the Pentagon with more flexibility. The GOP is expected to bump that account up to $96 billion.

Van Hollen said the GOP was turning the overseas contingency operations account into a "slush fund" to get around the spending caps.

House Democrats fulfilled President Obama's $58 billion request for the account.

The House GOP budget would balance in nine years, but Van Hollen accused it of being full of "smoke and mirrors," arguing it wouldn't really balance the budget.

The budget he introduced includes a six-year $478 billion surface transportation reauthorization and funding for early childhood and child care expansions.